FC: RFID tags: The new way to track everyday objects

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Nov 15 2002 - 09:59:09 PST

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    [I'm not sure if we should be alarmed. Don't like RFID tags sewn into your 
    clothing? Take them out after you buy it. Or don't buy RFIDwear. --Declan]
    From: "Richard M. Smith" <rmsat_private>
    To: "'Declan McCullagh'" <declanat_private>,
        "Richard M. Smith" <rmsat_private>
    Subject: RFID tags: Cookies for everyday objects
    Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 21:39:04 -0500
    Hi Declan,
    The low-cost RFID tag business is an up and coming technology.  The Holy
    Grail of this business is to produce an ID tag that costs only 5 cents
    to manufacture and therefore can be embedded in almost any consumer
    product.  RFID tags are kind of like Web browser cookies for everyday
    objects.  They allow individual products to be tracked during their
    entire life time from their birth at a factory all the way to their
    death at the local landfill.  RFID readers work up to a distance of 5
    feet and don't require any special efforts for tags to be read.
    The Auto-ID center of Cambridge, Mass. has some interesting diagrams of
    how RFID readers will use the Internet to connect to a centralized
    tracking database:
    Once RFID readers are deployed in most of the stores here in the US,
    there will some really amazing tracking systems that can be put into
    place.  For example, just by embedding RFID tags into clothing, stores
    can recognize returning customers a la "Minority Report".  Also stores
    can send out "all-points bulletins" for clothing items that have gone
    missing.  Shoplifters won't be able to hide. ;-)
    Attached are summaries of two recent RFID tag stories at the RFID
    Journal, an industry trade rag, about how this technology might get
    rolled out.
    Richard M. Smith
    Gillette to Purchase 500 Million EPC Tags
    Exclusive: Gillette plans to purchase 500 million RFID tags from startup
    Alien Technology,
    according to sources attending an Auto-ID Center board meeting on Nov.
    14. The deal
    marks a major milestone in the commercialization of low-cost RFID tags
    based on the
    Auto-ID Center's specifications.
    New Direct-To-Textile Washable RFID Tag
    KSW-Microtec, a Germany company that makes RFID tags and labels, has
    unveiled a new
    washable RFID label that can be attached directly to fabrics. The
    company is targeting the
    untapped uniform market in the United States.
    Full Story
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